Review: Shade, the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Written by: Cecil Castellucci

Illustrated by: Mirka Andolfo

Colored by: Marissa Louise



“MILK WARS” part three! Retconn has gotten to Wonder Woman, too.  Diana is now Wonder Wife…Queen of Milk and a real “domestic goddess.”  The issue opens with Wonder Wife lying in her tub of milk attended by Hap, the happy aspect of Shade, the Changing Girl.  As Hap pours more milk into the tub, she begins to have an inclination that something isn’t quite right and she begins to imagine having other emotions.

Shade’s other emotions – anger, fear, love, sadness and happiness – all comprise Wonder Wife’s heroic team.  “It’s all in the Milk,” says Wonder Wife.  Happy wanders off to the corridor of the Shade Force and encounters an image of the real Wonder Woman in her mind’s eye, as well as an odd robotic looking spider crawling about on the floor.  This sets her mind off on all sorts of things, and she can begin to see that Wonder Wife could be more.

As Wonder Wife assembles the Shade Force for an heroic adventure at the Women’s Rally, Happy begins disrupting the proceedings as she begins speaking of her other emotions.  The spider appears again and, with it’s suggestions, gets a better image of who she is…and all her emotions together and the madness vest.

Happy is able to go along with the rest of the team to the Women’s Rally.  Along the way and at the rally, Happy continues to push Wonder Wife into seeing and remembering more about herself.  It isn’t until they return home that she is able to get through to her with the help of the spider.  Oh yeah, that spider is Cave Carson’s Cybernetic Eye and he’s there asking for help.  Which is exactly what Wonder Woman and the emotionally reconstituted Shade do!


Imagining the DC Universe in the thrall of the Young Animal world view is a fun experience as familiar characters are twisted into an almost MAD Magazine parody.  Wonder Woman is transformed to the model of domesticity, a far cry from the globe-trotting warrior she is.

Perhaps the cleverest aspect is the focus on Shade’s emotions and how well it fits in to the themes that have run throughout her own series.  It’s not hard to see how Loma would have problems sorting through all these conflicting and underwhelming human emotions that are also what Megan would’ve been feeling as well.  Despite being a multi-part mega crossover, Castellucci maintains a deep connection to the heart of the character.

Lastly, the visual appearance of this issue is just superb.  Andolfo has a clean style that fits in with the look of the previous two issues of “Milk Wars.”  Additionally, she maintains the look that all the Young Animal titles have; these books are set apart from the super-hero genre and rely on different storytelling styles.  It’s clear she’s put forth a lot of effort to communicate through the facial expressions of Shade’s emotional doppelgangers.  Well done!  Let’s not forget Marissa Louise’s colors, either.  Her palate evokes that Young Animal look as well and helps create a soft, comfortable atmosphere for Wonder Wife, while using a different set of colors for Happy’s moments of conflict and pain.

There are even a few images that evoke the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series, and that is always a good thing!  And don’t forget to follow Rita Farr’s career here.  More to come with that I’m sure!


It’s nice to have different types of books out there and this is yet another example of what makes the Young Animal line so enjoyable – no negatives!


If you aren’t following the “Milk Wars” crossover, you should be.  Shade, the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 is another fun and insightful issue that continues to build on the Young Animal characters and the unique world they inhabit while firmly establishing them in the broader DC Universe.


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